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hybrid work: the secret weapon for happiness (and success)

Free lunch and coffee? A foosball table? What’s truly the #1 happiness factor at work? Flexibility! We spoke with Fatima Koning, Group Chief Commercial Officer at IWG, the world’s leading provider of flexible workspace, enabling millions of people to work in a way that is most efficient and fulfilling, wherever they’re based. Together we uncover the potential of hybrid work . "Hybrid working is empowering people to lead happier and healthier lives, enabling them to sleep longer, exercise more, and eat better," Fatima highlights.

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"Hybrid working is empowering employees to lead happier and healthier lives, enabling them to sleep longer, exercise more, and eat better." - Fatima Koning

flexibility as happiness factor for everyone

IWG’s latest Hybrid & Healthy study reveals that hybrid working empowers employees to lead happier and healthier lives by eliminating long commutes and allowing more personal time. "More than four-fifths of hybrid workers said they now have additional personal time compared to before the pandemic," Fatima notes. This reclaimed time enables employees to pursue personal passions, spend time with family, and improve their mental health, ultimately leading to a happier life.

the impact of flexible work on business

Hybrid working isn't just about adapting to new trends; it's about setting new standards in workplace flexibility. Over the past few decades, companies around the world have been pioneering the shift towards flexible work environments. This transformation is largely driven by technological advancements that enable people to work effectively from various locations.

"This approach has enabled us to support a diverse array of businesses, including 83% of the Fortune 500," Fatima notes. "By empowering employees to work how and where they prefer, we help companies cut operational costs and boost productivity." This flexibility is a cornerstone of IWG's strategy to enhance efficiency and foster innovation, allowing businesses to reinvest in growth and drive superior performance, creating a win-win situation for everyone.

hybrid work for mental health

More than four-fifths of workers in IWG’s study said they feel they had additional

personal time compared to pre-pandemic, and the majority use it with family and

friends, exercising or taking a short walk during the day. Two thirds said that they felt their mental health was good thanks to the shift to hybrid working.

Local flexible workplaces provide high-quality, professional environments close to home, enabling employees to interact with others and maintain clear boundaries between their home and work lives.

hybrid work fosters inclusion

"Earlier this year, our research for International Women's Day showed that hybrid work is making the workplace more inclusive, particularly for women who face rigid traditional work structures," Fatima highlights the model's role in promoting gender equality. While there is still much progress to be made in this area, the report shows a step in the right direction.

As a mother herself, Fatima adds: “Hybrid has certainly been a lifeline for me, empowering me to co-parent my daughter and progress in my career – and I’m excited to see the ongoing positive impact of the model in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.”

fostering collaboration and community

Hybrid working must ensure different solutions to meet diverse needs. "Each IWG location comes with a carefully curated mix of work stations, including private offices, meeting rooms, coworking desks, creative zones, lounge areas, and more," explains Fatima, referencing how they implement this approach. Taking it up a level, customers can also use the ‘Design Your Office’ service to create a bespoke space that aligns with their brand identity, including unique floor plans and tailored furniture, fittings, and technology. IWG members benefit from access to a global network of thousands of locations, with all workspace requirements and services, such as IT and printing, easily managed through the company's apps.

IWG's customers regularly hold conferences and team bonding events in its centers, while also participating in local community events organized by IWG. These gatherings enable networking with other innovative firms and like-minded individuals, fostering a collaborative and supportive work environment.

enabling effective communication

Effective communication can make or break any company and hybrid working models might just be the answer to the challenge.

"In a distributed workforce model, it’s vital to bring teams together on a regular basis to enable them to connect and collaborate," says Fatima. IWG offers exactly those spaces needed to enable connection and efficient communication: meeting rooms, creative zones, lounge areas, and of course community kitchens for the regular “watercooler talks” are part of all IWG location concepts.

a look into the future of work

As we look to the future, the trajectory of hybrid work is clear. "Hybrid work is the megatrend of our time and it’s here to stay," states Fatima Koning, highlighting that an estimated 30% to 40% of white-collar workers will permanently adopt this model. This shift is not just a trend but a fundamental change that will continue to reshape the workplace landscape. Over the next decade, we can expect work to move closer to the heart of communities, driven by technological advances. "Employees will be happier and healthier, communities will be revitalized, and carbon emissions will fall," Fatima predicts. She adds, "Our studies with Arup have shown that hybrid working can cut work-related emissions by up to 90%, supporting critical climate action goals," underlining the environmental advantages of reduced commuting. She is also excited to see the ongoing positive impact of the model in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.

The result? Enhanced business performance and innovation that benefit society as a whole. The journey of hybrid work is just beginning, and its potential to transform our professional and personal lives is immense.

about IWG:

IWG is the global leader in hybrid work solutions and workspace brands. We create personal, financial, and strategic value for businesses of every size. From some of the most exciting companies and well-known organisations on the planet, to individuals and the next generation of industry leaders. All of them harness the power of IWG’s hybrid working platform to increase their productivity, efficiency, agility, and market proximity.

IWG’s unrivalled network coverage includes approximately 4,000 locations across more than 120 countries and 83% of Fortune 500 companies are amongst our growing customer base.

Through our brands including Regus, Spaces, HQ and Signature, we help millions of people and their businesses to work more productively. We do so by providing the world’s leading hybrid work platform with professional, inspiring and collaborative workspaces and digital services all available via the IWG app.

about Fatima:

Group Chief Commercial Officer, Fatima Koning has been with IWG for 10 years, leading the sales function for the world’s largest workspace provider with a network of 4,000 locations in over 120 markets. Fatima and her team are at the forefront of supporting organisations of all sizes and industries as they radically shift the way in which they work.


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